Examining the Changes in the Eighteenth-Century French Translations of Homer’s Iliad by Anne Dacier and Houdar De La Motte

Author: Morton, Richard
Year:2003
Pages:128
ISBN:0-7734-6594-4
978-0-7734-6594-7
Price:139.95
Anne Dacier, a distinguished Classicist and committed “Ancient” published in 1711 a prose translation of the Iliad, designed to forward the agenda of the ”Homerists” by reproducing the Ancient Greek as literally as possible in modern French, and by elaborate annotations proving the moral and aesthetic excellence of the original. Houdar de la Motte, courier and wit, published in 1714 his verse “imitation” of the Iliad, in deliberate competition with Mme Dacier’s text, designed to purge from Homer what he saw as the barbarities of antiquity. Their contrasting translations stimulated a vivacious literary storm. This monograph concentrates on the translations themselves, assessing the changes that de la Motte made and that Dacier, in spite of herself, was forced to make in accord with contemporary propriety. This text will be of interest to those working on the theory of translation, as well as to students of French literary history and classical scholars.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Introduction
1. Mme Dacier and La Motte in Theory and Practice
2. Homer accommodated to “nos Usages” and “notre Goût”
3. “Sourd á tout, il n’entend que la voix de l’honneur”: The Reinvention of Hector
4. “Moins boüillant et moins promt”: La Motte’s Achilles
5. The Shield of Achilles
6. “C’est le seul moyen d’instruire les hommes”: the gods and goddesses of Homer, Mme. Dacier and La Motte
7. “L’art d’Homere, dont Demosthene a sû bien profiter”: Homeric Rhetoric